M. Hollande's France needs some expansionary austerity says the head of a French employers' organization;
Marie-Christine Oghly, says another rise in taxes would strangle France's anaemic recovery.
"Our companies are not competitive because of the high level of social charges and taxes. If we want to export we have to be competitive and right now our labour costs are too high," she says,
"Yes we have stopped the recession. It's not getting worse. Perhaps our export balance also looks a little healthier.
"But still the deep reforms we need have not been passed, our deficit remains high, and until we cut spending we won't be on the right path."
Mr Hollande has pledged to cut unemployment by the end of the year. Eighty-two per cent of people say they do not believe him. Right now it is not hope he is inspiring but deep cynicism.Especially in Paris's famous flea market;
Les Puces de Saint-Ouen is a bargain hunter's paradise. It is the original, and some say the biggest, flea market in the world.
You can find anything in Saint-Ouen. There are 2,500 traders selling anything from second-hand clothes to the finest antique furniture.All they lack is customers;
Alec Zimeris sells antique paintings. He is marooned in a covered market. The stalls around him are shuttered and locked. Many of his fellow tenants, he says, are on the brink.
"They are quite pessimistic, because they own the lease to the shop, they bought it and now they are unable to sell it. And sometimes they have to abandon the stall because they can't afford to keep up the rent," he says.Meanwhile in the United States, austerity hasn't had a noticeable downside.